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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Review: Spaghetteria Andrea e Marianna - Sferracavallo, Palermo

Spaghetteria Andrea e Marianna - Sferracavallo, Palermo
Piazza A. Beccadelli - Sferracavallo (PA)
+39 329 002 7030 / +39 392 560 0285

2 out of 3 Stars
Dinner: 3 course meal,
typical Sicilian ; 20 euro per person including wine

Near the foreshore of the Palermo beach-side suburb of Sferracavallo, there exists what appears to be some makeshift buildings, half covered in a tarpaulin. They invoke the image of the temporary structures of a street festival or fare, with each serving their own specialities that are usually only found locally at that place.

The difference at Sferracavallo is that these buildings, while having the look of being temporary, are actually permanent dwellings containing permanent restaurants serving exactly the type of delicious fare you would expect in a festival. Except, this is no festival. These restaurants are open - day in day out.

The cute thing at these selection of five or so restaurants is that each has a spruiker out the front grabbing your attention and imploring you to come inside to try their wares. This again adds to the carnival atmosphere and provides a kind of oriental feel to it. Each restaurant specialises in something peculiarly Sicilian or Palermitan, like typically Palermitan street food (such as Jamie Oliver's favourite, Pane e Panelle) served as a restaurant dish, or freshly caught seafood like octopus, boiled or grilled, with copious amounts of lemon and herbs added.

One of the restaurants, Spaghetteria Andrea e Marianna, is in one of these structures and it's speciality is freshly caught sea-food. The catch of the day usually consists of fresh octopus, squid, mussels and sea urchin (ricci). Adding to the oriental feel again is the fact that the menus have photos so the diner can see how the dish will look when ordered.

While the quality is high, the prices are not. A whole octopus will set you back no more than 6 euro while a pasta dish, such as spaghetti con i ricci, is no more than 4 euro.

Sorry but these are ridiculously cheap prices and are typical of the traditional restaurants that are to be found in Sicily, where the food is always of the freshest and highest quality.

Well recommended.

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